From TheStreet’s “Dow Futures Gain as Global Stocks Ride Solid China Factory Data; April Retail Sales in Focus” posted early Friday:
U.S. equity futures edged higher Friday, while oil prices surged and the dollar eased, following a stronger-than-expected reading for China’s factory output that suggests a slow, but noted, recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.
China’s industrial output leaped by 3.9% last month, official data Friday indicated, a figure that was more than double Street forecasts and adds to recent readings that suggest the country’s re-opening momentum is beginning to gain traction.
The surge offset the weakest quarter-on-quarter contraction for the German economy in more than a decade, which shrank 2.2% over the first three months of the year, and provided early support for stocks on the final trading day of a volatile week that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched an 800 point rally last night to close firmly in the green.
Friday’s action is likely to be a bit more muted, however, as traders await a grisly reading for April retail sales data in the United States and fret over the fate of U.S.-China relations amid rising tensions over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
Industrial production data follows at 9:15 am Eastern time, with the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment reading set for 10:00 am Eastern time.
My take: Friday closes are always fraught.
UPDATE: Apple has turned red in the premarket. Was it Foxconn that did it?
From AppleInsider’s “Foxconn posts 90% first-quarter profit drop, but worst is over“
Apple’s major iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has reported that the coronavirus has vastly reduced its lower profits, even more than analysts expected, but says that sales are now stabilizing.
Amidst reports that Foxconn is cutting its labor force because of poorer demand, its parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co has revealed a drop in its first-quarter profits of almost 90%. The company of course blames this entirely on the coronavirus disruption, but says that it believes that is now over.
“Hon Hai will stabilize in the second quarter,” Foxconn said in a financial statement seen by Reuters. The company says it now expects double-digit growth from the first to the second quarter.
UPDATE 2: There’s also this Huawei news…
From TheStreet’s “Dow Futures Slide As U.S. Restrictions on Huawei Stoke China Tensions” updated at 7:15 a.m. Friday
Wall Street futures slumped lower Friday after a report indicated White House plans to restrict China-backed Huawei Technologies from accessing U.S. tech markets in a move that could add to further tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The Commerce Department issued a final 90-day extension that allows Huawei to do business with American firms, but added it will be barred from acquiring semiconductors made with U.S. software under the Foreign Direct Product Rule.